Lawrence Rungren

100 Articles

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PREMIUM

High as the Waters Rise

Award-winning German author Kampmann is a poet, and this first foray into fiction is a poet’s novel in the richness of its imagery and the exquisiteness of the language. It’s as if the protagonist were a modern Odysseus returning to a home he no longer has
PREMIUM

Pew

Working with the spiritual and social notions of the stranger and the other, Lacey (The Answers) creates an amorphously Christlike figure who comes to represent whatever people want to see, good or bad. With echoes of some of Shirley Jackson’s work, this is a complex, many-faceted fable about religion, hypocrisy, forgiveness, and how society defines social identity. [See Prepub Alert, 11/4/19.]

Man of My Time

Through the pain of Hamid’s alienation, Sofer (The Septembers of Shiraz), an Iranian-born Jew who grew up in the United States, has created a memorable and difficult character who can be seen as embodying the spiritual distress of Iran since the 1978 revolution. A powerful, complex, and profoundly anguished novel made more relevant by current tensions. [See Prepub Alert, 10/7/19.]

The Coyotes of Carthage

This is an archly comic and ultimately chilling political novel on the effects of the dark money unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision on the American political soul as well as on the souls of individuals. Thoughtful, sharp-edged fare for the upcoming election year. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/19.]
PREMIUM

Cleanness

Covering similar emotional ground, this heartfelt work is a worthy successor to Greenwell’s extraordinary debut. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]

PREMIUM

Processed Cheese

While the satire is occasionally obvious and over-the-top, this is a richly comic—and one might say, right on the money
PREMIUM

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen

Drawing on a true incident, Palmer (The Dream of Perpetual Motion) pits the age-old human desire to believe the miraculous against the emerging rationalism of the scientific community in Mary’s time. In this yearning to believe what we’d like to be true over the facts, the novel perhaps offers some parallels to our own time. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]
PREMIUM

Reinhardt’s Garden

Subverting the conventions of the late 19th–early 20th century novel of the obsessed European venturing into the jungle, Haber (Deathbed Conversions) has crafted a knowing (and perhaps at times too knowing) parody of the genre. Combine its brevity with its main character’s mania and almost religious elevation of melancholy, and the book might best be described as Heart of Darkness viewed in a fun house mirror.

PREMIUM

Gettysburg

Though Reynolds’s plans for renewal end up wildly off the mark, he ultimately finds something of value. While delightedly skewering the privileged entertainment industry lifestyle, Morris (All Joe Knight) uses Reynolds’s travails and the divisions of the Civil War period to make larger points about the current state of America. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]

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